Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 12:1
“Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” – Luke 12:1
An important idea is found in our focus verse, in the last part, that being “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Luke 12:1b. Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were known to demand more from those who heard their teachings then from themselves who were the teachers. There is an old saying that says, “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say”. Another way this put it is, “We are to say what we do and do what we say.” This is in essence what Jesus was saying. Beware of those who say one thing yet do another.
After this He gives them this warning. “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.” Luke 12:2. Do not do anything different from what you say, for when you do there is a good possibility it shall be found out and it shall be told to many. And even if it is not discovered here in this life, it will be revealed in the next. Many times the Jewish leaders would say it is wrong to do this or that, but then when they are by themselves they would practice the same things they declared as wrong. No sin, be it ever so secret or privately done, is more covered than hypocrisy, but likely to be found out sooner or later; if not in this world, then in the world to come. Jesus then continues. “Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.” Luke 12:3. Hypocrisy has a way of making itself known.
A Pastor I know fell into this and it did not end well for him. He was having an affair and somehow, and I do not know how, the word got out regarding what was happening. He lost his pastorship, almost lost his wife, and many lost faith in him. We must remember that the enemy wants to destroy our message, and what better way to do this then to make public the hypocrisy of Christians.
We must also remember that as we judge we will be judged. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2. How can we honestly judge others for what we ourselves are doing? “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5. If we tell someone that what they are doing is wrong and then go out and do it ourselves, possibly in a greater way than they do, how are we doing anything different than the Pharisees and Sadducees? And if the other person finds out we are doing the same thing we denounced in them, we will be seen as a hypocrite and will probably lose the ability to speak into their lives. And always remember that these things have a tendency to get talked about with others, which could destroy our impact and darken our light that should be shining bright in the world (Matthew 5:14-16).
It is important that, as Christians, we be real and genuine with people. By doing so, people will be more inclined to listen and believe our testimony regarding the love of God and His desire to save them and develop a loving relation with them. Many Jews lost confidence with the Pharisees because of their acts of hypocrisy. Let us do nothing that will destroy our witness to a world that needs to hear it.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.